From nursery slope beginners to competitive racers, every skier and snowboarder knows that board wax is an essential part of good equipment care. When applied to the base of your board or skis, it creates a water-resistant surface that reduces friction to increase your speed and slow down wear and tear. Most ski and snowboard waxes are made from a hydrocarbon base, but some are designed for specific temperatures while others include additives that make them faster or help to decrease static electricity. Read our round-up to discover the best ski and snowboard waxes to buy today.
Best Overall: Purl All-Temperature Ski and Snowboard Wax
The Purl All-Temperature Ski and Snowboard Wax is a great all-rounder best suited to recreational skiers and snowboarders with no real need for race-level speed. Rated for use between 5ºF to 35ºF, this all-weather microcrystalline wax is ideal for ski destinations with widely fluctuating temperatures; or for those that plan to travel regularly to different climates.
It’s also free from PFCs (perfluorochemicals that are often added to ski and snowboard waxes but can be harmful to the environment). Reviewers particularly love that this wax is easy to apply and an excellent value for the money. It comes in a one-pound block, which means you’ll be able to keep your gear waxed throughout several seasons without having to make a second purchase. The wax’s bold purple color buffs clear onto your board or skis with the help of the included ultra-fine buffing pad.
Best for Specialist Weather: DEYS Cold/ Warm Snowboard and Ski Waxes
For specialist weather conditions, choose the DEYS Cold Snowboard and Ski Wax or the DEYS Warm Snowboard and Ski Wax as appropriate. The cold temperature wax works best at 14ºF and under, while the warm temperature wax has an operating range of 32ºF to 41 ºF. Both versions are made of hydrocarbon wax with a polymer additive for reduced friction and have the environmental advantage of being 100 percent biodegradable.
Whichever temperature range you go for, the wax is applied hot with the help of a waxing iron and the included six-inch plexi scraper (emblazoned with the immortal advice, Don’t Eat Yellow Snow). The four-ounce block provides enough wax to grease your board or skis 10 or more times. Helpfully, the cold temperature wax is pale blue, while the warm temperature wax is red, allowing you to differentiate between the two quickly and easily when preparing for your pre-trip waxing ritual.
Best Rub On: ZUMWax Rub On Ski and Snowboard Wax
Although hot waxes provide the best performance, rub-on waxes are more convenient and easier to apply on the go. They’re also cheaper because you don’t need to invest in a waxing iron. The ZUMWax Rub On Ski and Snowboard Wax is a softer version of the brand’s popular iron-on wax and allows for simple two-step application. First, rub the wax onto your base, then buff it in using the cork pad on the container’s lid.
The container also features a clever push-up design, specifically intended for on-slope application. The wax itself is green in color and smells great (thanks to a vanilla additive). It’s also suited to a wide range of temperatures, meaning that you can use it regardless of the conditions you wake up to. At 2.5 ounces, this product is the perfect lightweight addition to your snow boot bag or backpack.
Best Graphite: Choad Cheese Snowboard & Ski Graphite Wax
Made from a durable blend of microcrystalline and hydrocarbon waxes, the Choad Cheese Snowboard & Ski Graphite Wax includes a micro-fine powdered graphite additive. Graphite additives are great for reducing the drag caused by static electricity, which often builds up between your board or ski base and wet or slushy snow. They can also help to repel dirt, thereby increasing your skis' or board’s speed and overall longevity.
This wax is designed as a rub-on product to be applied ahead of your regular hot wax. Locally sourced in Portland, OR, it’s non-toxic; while the 3.5-ounce block size should last for up to 10 applications. Be aware that the dense black color of all graphite waxes (including this one) can stain light-colored or white board and ski bases - but hopefully the reward of a faster ride is worth the slight aesthetic drawback.
Best Fluorocarbon: Hertel Wax All Temperature Racing Fluorocarbon Wax
Hertel Racing Fluorocarbon Wax is the best all-temperature option for competitive skiers and snowboarders. It has an impressive temperature range of 6ºF to 52ºF and incorporates fluorocarbon additives that repel water molecules to give increased glide and faster speeds, especially in wet snow conditions. By using this wax, you can reduce the surface tension on the base of your skis or board so that instead of needing 25 pounds of energy to turn (with no wax), you’ll need just nine pounds.
This product’s hefty price-tag is made up for by the fact that each application lasts up to seven days - meaning that you’ll be using the 12-ounce block for months to come. The white-colored wax doesn’t stain your board or your clothing, and can also be used for base preparation.
Best Environmentally-Friendly: OneBallJay BioGreen Hot Wax
OneBallJay’s BioGreen Hot Wax is the top choice for eco-warriors (or really anyone with an interesting in preserving the pristine environments so loved by snowboarders and skiers). Designed to provide excellent glide at all temperatures, it’s made from renewable soybean oil instead of the petroleum base favored by the vast majority of other wax brands. It’s particularly good as an environmentally-friendly alternative to fluorocarbon waxes, which are notorious for leaching harmful chemicals into the water table (although it can’t offer the same speed). The 5.6-ounce block can be used as an iron-on wax or a rub-on wax, allowing for great versatility.
Best Scented: Choad Cheese Maple Bacon Scented Snowboard & Ski Wax
Of all the inventively-named scented waxes created by Choad Cheese (think Dirty Hippie or Arvind’s Mom’s Coconut Curry), Maple Bacon is one of the most popular. With a sweet, bacon-y scent that reviewers love, this all-temp wax gives you maximum glide on the slopes, proving it truly does work as well as it smells. It’s easy to apply and lasts a long time considering the block’s relatively small 4-ounce size.